Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Moe FonerMoe Foner
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 592

does not have to go back to the endowment.” So that's what set us in to motion, and we began to expand on it and take a crack at producing other materials with it. We still have a direct mail program.


What was your motivation for starting the direct mail?


I wanted to put our materials in to the hands of unions, primarily unions. I made the point that if you go in to a union headquarters, it's a drab place. Most union offices are drab places. Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could put our posters on the walls as a start up thing. Then, move all our things around. As long as you're putting out a brochure, indicate everything you've got in there. Now the more I got in to it, the more I learned that we were filling a vacuum, that there was nothing around on this thing. Nothing that was broad enough. There was things that came out but they tended to be narrow, and they were never of the same quality. We had high quality stuff.

So that quickly, depending -- the secret of direct mail is lists, the kind of lists. It became clear to me early on that a major source was union headquarters. But I did not want to take on the assignment of sending out mail to [hundreds] of local unions in the United States to get hold of their list, and to put it on some kind of labels. It would be an endless kind of task. So we would send a letter to international unions, say “Inform your locals,” or I would contact people. I would contact many international unions or state bodies and say, “If I sent you 500 brochures would you mail them out.” We did a lot of that kind of thing. Another group that is still a major source for this thing, labor lawyers. Labor lawyers must have in their offices something that indicates they're part of labor. There's nothing good. For example Henry Fleischer -- I know you know who he is. Henry Fleischer -- F-L-E-I-S- C-H-E-R, he used to be the p.r. man for the CIO and his firm represents many international unions -- called me early this week. “Moe, I am doing a little thing on the side. You know I'm retired but I'm busy,” that kind of thing, “there's a doctor's strike here. I arranged for a t.v. thing at the office of the lawyer for the union. I saw these beautiful posters on the wall and the t.v. reporter asked me, ‘How do you get those posters?’ So would you send her a brochure?” That always happens. People are calling, “How do I get these posters?” So we've tried over the years. Our mailing list of purchasers is 10,000.


So you've had 10,000 people buy.


10,000 people have made purchases.

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help